*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 31, 2014, 05:00:18 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 71 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: How difficult is a task?  (Read 2763 times)
Egonblaidd
Member

Posts: 91


« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2010, 10:59:35 AM »

Logged

Phillip Lloyd
<><
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2010, 03:55:56 PM »

Quote
It sort of reminds me of HeroQuest, which we tried out recently, and which sucked. The specific problem with something like this, however, is that I still have to think up the number. I hate having to make up numbers out of nothing, even when it's saying how many goblins are in the room just like that or something. Numbers hard!
And yet I'm pretty certain if you had 'The first difficulty is always 10. For any skill roll after, it's the previous difficulty + (1D10-5)' you wouldn't be happy either?
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Egonblaidd
Member

Posts: 91


« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2010, 06:46:41 PM »

If you don't like making up something out of nothing, then you should be playing, and not GMing.  GMing is all about making up something out of nothing, but I understand why it's hard to simply pull a number out of thin air.  That's why I like the question approach.  You still have to make up something out of nothing, but now it's something concrete, like is it raining, or is the rock heavy, rather than just an abstract number.  It also goes beyond simply generating a number and actually generates details about the setting.  Maybe the GM hadn't thought about possible weather conditions, but when the question comes up in a skill test, suddenly the GM has to think about it and make a decision.  This decision then factors in to events that come afterwards.  In a sense, yes, you may still have to make up something from nothing, but you could even simply roll a die if you don't know, and thus the details of the setting are generated where the GM wouldn't have thought to set them ahead of time.
Logged

Phillip Lloyd
<><
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2010, 07:27:47 PM »

Actually thought of something further on the design I said...I'll just write it, whether it's relevant. Okay, apart from sticking a ceiling on the difficulty, so it can't go randomly below 5 (or whever floor you want) or above 50 (or whatever ceiling you want), you put in the option for the GM to adjust it by -5 or +5, as he see's fit. Or just leave what the game itself produced. And also there's the option of either having the GM modified number be the next number used for the random distribution, or only use the number the generator last created. Kinda sounded interesting to me. Probably off topic though.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 746

roll-player


WWW
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 05:43:43 PM »

Paul,

Quote from: Paul T
]Another approach to consider is what Vincent Baker has done with Apocalypse World:

The "difficulty" of a task is always the same.

* However, the GM is given guidelines for how often a roll must be made: the more challenging the circumstances, the more often the character might roll.
* The outcome of each roll is determined by choosing from a list of options which produce different results in the fiction depending on the circumstances. (For example, one outcome might be something like, "Your opponent gives ground." That has little impact in a duel in an open field, but severe consequences if you're fighting on a narrow ledge.)

So, those generic systems of mine I mentioned in a previous post. The first solution sounds like what I have in the first game, in that the difficulty is always the same, but there's a way for the GM to make situations more difficult for the players by spamming circumstances that provoke players to buy separate rolls. The second solution sounds like the lists of task success/failure effects I had in the second game at some point, but discarded in recent playtesting.

I tried similar things in other games and I'd say those fall under circumventing the issue. I'm looking for something different here.

Quote
Yet another option is to rig something like the Otherkind dice idea with variables for fictional circumstances. I have a brief ruleset outlined for this, inspired by something you wrote on Story Games a while back. Let me know if you're interested; I can describe it, too.

If that was something Otherkind-related I wrote on $G before my spectacular self-erasure, I've been actively developing and playtesting that ruleset throughout the last year. I'm using the engine in that second generic game and some more specific projects that moved to the back burner. At this point, there is no mechanical representation of action difficulty, however. Circumstances may be a factor in resolution, but only via triggering class-specific abilities (e.g. "When in bed, you can add your Aristocrat die to the roll, but you risk your opposition winding up on top. Check the box to roll special die with no risk.").

Sage,

The problem is that this solution starts with numbers and only retroactively assigns circumstances. That way, it circumvents the problem, like many Forge-style games.

(I've been working with similar ideas in the past, but nothing really came out of this. Perhaps you will have more luck with effective implementation. Theoretically, this could be playable, but not what I'm looking for here, anyway.)

Callan,

Quote from: Callan S.
And yet I'm pretty certain if you had 'The first difficulty is always 10. For any skill roll after, it's the previous difficulty + (1D10-5)' you wouldn't be happy either?

Actually, I would! It removes the need to think up numbers.

Not what I'm looking for here, though. Again, a case of circumventing the issue by starting with numbers, rather than translating task circumstances into numbers.

Note that here I'm not really interested in where those circumstances come from, however. Those could just as well be randomized, as long as the difficulty is not randomized directly.

Yesterday, for instance, we played a game of BESM using Mythic for GM emulation. At some point I rolled to see if my catgirl pop idol would notice a pervert harrassing some other characters in the audience, so we started with medium difficulty and bumped it one step for distracting environment. It occurred to me we didn't know how far from the stage they were, so we used GM emulation procedure to establish if they were close. Rolling on the Fate Chart produced "exceptionally yes" answer, which the other player interpreted as them beeing right under the stage. With no crowd between our characters, we didn't see the need to bump the difficulty, so I rolled against medium in the end. Technically, I guess I should have asked for the distance before figuring out the initial difficulty, but it still didn't feel like randomizing the difficulty itself. We randomized our distance, when the difficulty potential difficulty emerged from the presence of crowd between us. The distance remained one of our established circumstances, though, so when the other player attacked the pervert a moment later, I was able to leap into the fight from the stage in the same combat round.

(As a sidenote, playing with Mythic GM Emulator, it really struck me how much input and control over just about everything the GM gets in trad, compared to the players or the mechanics. We were using GM emulation procedures all the time, rolling on the Fate Chart dozens of times, but we only used BESM rules a few times for resolving actual character actions.)
Logged

Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2010, 05:24:38 PM »

I'm gunna skip past two things I observe: You'd be happy with that - but your not happy with it? And the mythic GM is just a big ouja board play to me, where instead of pretending spirits move the planchette, everyone acts like rules move the planchette.

But skipping that, basically it sounds like if a roll on a chart generated 'You are totally close!' as a result, and then you worked out numbers from that, your happier? From your AP it appeared 'exceptionally yes' was produced from a chart, then you made up numbers from it. That's the procedure I'm identifying you as being happy with there. Does that help out at all?
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Paul T
Member

Posts: 369


« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2010, 08:56:29 AM »

Filip,

If that was something Otherkind-related I wrote on $G before my spectacular self-erasure, I've been actively developing and playtesting that ruleset throughout the last year. I'm using the engine in that second generic game and some more specific projects that moved to the back burner. At this point, there is no mechanical representation of action difficulty, however. Circumstances may be a factor in resolution, but only via triggering class-specific abilities (e.g. "When in bed, you can add your Aristocrat die to the roll, but you risk your opposition winding up on top. Check the box to roll special die with no risk.").

Do you have that ruleset up anywhere? Post a link (or PM me if you don't want to share it all over the place). I'm sure I can show you how to get the same mechanics you're using to handling "fiction physics". I think it's a fun approach, myself.
Logged
JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 469

also known as Josh W


« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2010, 12:37:26 PM »

Ok, first off, a difficulty is not a difficulty without an intention; do you want to read that book or set fire to it?

A difficulty is not a difficulty without a situation; are you reading a book or the water damaged remains of one?

So if you're pushing away from focusing on intention, you're probably going to have to look at the properties of a situation, in a way that is open for input from skills. (Sort of like how circumstances can form situation modifiers to skills, perhaps skills can form modifiers to rolls for how situations change)

So if we talk about "properties", is this some kinds of actual physics engine? Where we roll for the stability of the door against breezes and whatever, and people just add a higher modifier? Well one way to shortcut that kind of thing is to work out what kinds of phase changes/macro-scale transformations we can expect, (you can create a flow chart of door->splintering door or door->door separated by broken hinges etc) roll a dice for the amount of energy supplied, and have people put modifiers one way or another to avoid the wrong change taking place.

That would be how you'd deal with bombs; the complexity would be the number of different adverse transitions you'd be wanting to avoid, and you'd maybe have to divide skill points between them, potentially rolling for each one. The robustness of the system to perturbations of different kinds would be represented by the thresholds for the different transitions.

So that's one way to do it; like an inverted otherkind system, someone (or more than one person) provides the energy, which applies to each transition threshold as a dice of a certain size, and then people use modifiers to adjust that value.

That doesn't help you set the transition thresholds, but I hope it's a start.
Logged
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 746

roll-player


WWW
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2010, 06:14:18 PM »

Paul,

Quote from: Paul T
Do you have that ruleset up anywhere? Post a link (or PM me if you don't want to share it all over the place).

Sort of, but only in Polish. Anyway, the last complete version of the document does not include about a bazillion of small updates from the recent playtest campaign, and as such, it's heavily outdated. So, at this point, even if you could read Polish, you'd essentially have to sift through several convoluted update threads, and some bits of the puzzle are still only in my head.

Callan,

Quote from: Callan S.
I'm gunna skip past two things I observe: You'd be happy with that - but your not happy with it? And the mythic GM is just a big ouja board play to me, where instead of pretending spirits move the planchette, everyone acts like rules move the planchette.

I'd be happy with that solution in general, it's just not what I'm looking for in this thread.

Regarding GME, that was my first game with it, so it's hard for me to say much about it. I can see some possible issues, but I can also see quite a lot of potential. I find it an interesting take on GM-less gaming, nothing like the solutions I've seen so far in actual play. Dunno about the ouja board bit, it was rather clear that the mechanics only processed our input. Still, as opposed to trad play with GM, it spread our control over gameplay quite evenly. This alone removes some of my primary issues with trad GM-ing. Many gaming books that I wouldn't otherwise touch these days seem pretty viable to me with GME.

Quote
But skipping that, basically it sounds like if a roll on a chart generated 'You are totally close!' as a result, and then you worked out numbers from that, your happier? From your AP it appeared 'exceptionally yes' was produced from a chart, then you made up numbers from it. That's the procedure I'm identifying you as being happy with there. Does that help out at all?

There were two procedures, or at least segments of procedure, involved. One for establishing the fact, and another one for translating it into numbers. In this thread, I want to focus on the latter part, the very specific moment of translation.

The thing is, it wasn't exactly the same as rolling for the difficulty of each specific task. In this case, circumstances established at any point of play could potentially affect the difficulty of many tasks throughout the entire gameplay (or just as well factor in no attempted tasks at all).

For the purposes of this thread, the exact procedure for establishing circumstances is largely irrelevant, anyway. The starting point is that some circumstances potentially affecting the task have already been established, and now mechanical difficulty needs to be derived from those somehow.
Logged

Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2010, 04:30:14 AM »

Quote
There were two procedures, or at least segments of procedure, involved. One for establishing the fact, and another one for translating it into numbers. In this thread, I want to focus on the latter part, the very specific moment of translation.
I...don't see any latter procedure existing to discuss. But this is where your probably going into your idea of people playing out the hardware and people are supposedly good at processing words.

It's like this - you draw me a hydra.

How many heads did you draw? How many did I ask you to draw? I didn't ask you to draw any particular number. See, you have this number...where did it come from?

There's no procedure in how many heads you drew. With the number you came up with, there is no procedure. Your not processing, your inventing - or at the very least, your brain is tripping out on my word 'hydra' and sparking very compelling thoughts into your head. Acid isn't the only thing that gives head trips - so do well aimed words. William Shakespear knew that.

But we could go round and round on that, so there's the idea as best I can describe it through this series of ink marks/pixels called english, for consideration. No procedure


And this bit is off topic of me, so don't pay it a great deal of attention
Quote
Still, as opposed to trad play with GM, it spread our control over gameplay quite evenly.
So everyones got a finger on the planchette, instead of just one guy (GM) having his finger on it. Certainly better, if you had to go with a planchette, than having just one guy with his finger on it.

I just see it as...well, I'd agree, it's control over gameplay. That's what I'd identify as a bug, rather than feature. I would, anyway.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Paul T
Member

Posts: 369


« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2010, 08:42:02 AM »

Filip,

Can you share some of the basics with me? In whatever format you like (here in this thread, by private message, through a blog post, whatever). I have an idea for how to adapt that cleanly and easily into a "simulation" mechanic for your purposes.

Logged
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 746

roll-player


WWW
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2010, 03:52:20 PM »

I'll PM you the basics in a moment out of sheer curiosity. I'm not sure if this sort of adaptation is possible at this point, given that I largely dropped the task's success/failure from the equation. Also, with "design something GURPS-ish" I had a bit more straightforward Stat+Skill vs Difficulty mechanic in mind.
Logged

spotvice29
Registree

Posts: 1


« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2010, 06:02:16 PM »

Hi to all

I just  newbie but i learn more just by readng your post

Thanks a lot guys and gals
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!